One of the many (tin) toy companies from Japan whose products have endured over time is Marusan Co. Ltd. We know them by the mark of SAN in a circle.
The Japanese word “Maru” means 'circle', thus the mark of SAN in a circle. But the word “San” also means three, which refers to the 3 founders of this company in 1947. Circles along with diamonds were popular logo marks for Japanese companies at that time as evidenced by the many marks we see within a circle or diamond.
Initially, their business was a wholesale sales business, but they eventually began to design and market their own toys. Some of the items on the 1951 sales list for Marusan included the following:
Friction - Small Mercury car
Windups- Tricycle with celluloid doll, rabbit, motorcycle, penguin, helicopter, tank, windmill, fire engine, drum boy, jet airplane, bird clock and an elephant with monkey and umbrella. A very popular toy was the windup Lucky sewing machine with a celluloid girl behind the machine.
Marusan Smoking Bear:
What's your Marusan worth? Here are some recently sold items.
|Marusan Toys 3719 Mechanical Elephant Tin Cloth...||07/2021||$122.50|
|Smoky Joe Tin Bump Go Toy Car Marusan Battery...||07/2021||$60.00|
|Marusan Kosuge Tin Friction 10 1 4 Long 1952...||07/2021||$148.49|
|New Car 60 Chevrolet Marusan Iy Metal Toys Box...||06/2021||$1 450.00|
|Tin Toy Marusan Battery Operated Fire Boat Display...||06/2021||$152.50|
|See all sold items on eBay for more prices||08/2021||$-.--|